As a basket drifts against the twilight, the only sound one can hear is a burner whispering to invisible gas, commanding it to push the carriage higher into the evening sky. At Go Hot Air Ballooning, flights stay close enough to the ground to witness deer wandering the earth, and each excursion—from private rides to tethered convoys—takes off with passengers' well-being in mind. An FAA-licensed pilot with more than 20 years of ballooning experience—and a perfect safety record—takes the helm of each flight, personally confirming each reservation and watching up-to-date weather reports to ensure safe flight conditions. Though the in-air portion lasts only an hour, most journeys take up to four hours in all, allowing passengers to witness such behind-the-scenes action as the pilot inflating the entire balloon with his lungs.
Deep in the woods, the thick canopy blocks out what little moonlight permeates the night sky. Through the panoramic darkness, the ominous sounds of distant screams, rustling branches, and twigs snapped under mysterious footfalls convey one message: you are not alone. Ghouls and other fiendish creatures lurk around every corner at Scream Country Haunted Hayride & Forest, ready to ambush passersby with heart-stopping, spine-tingling shouts of “boo!” or requests for directions to the nearest gas station. Set on more than 40 acres of twisting forest, Scream Country invites intrepid guests to explore the fearsome darkness, acquainting themselves with the paranormal vibes that charge the air every October.
Just off the historic Route 66, Summerside Vineyards welcomes visitors into its rustic winery and meadery. Regular tours of the winery and cellar elucidate the specifics of the wine- and mead-making processes and end in the cozy tasting room. Here, surrounded by a warm color palette and antique furniture, staff walk visitors through samplings of Summerside's various wines and meads. The bottles range from dry to dessert, and each are produced and bottled in the onsite cellar. In addition to tastings, Summerside holds seasonal wine-focused events.
The joys of riding a bicycle are many and beloved by many. Smells, which are dulled to undetectable levels in four-wheeled transit, are piquant from the fresh-air perch of a bicycle seat. The scenery of the country or of the city—its alleyways, byways, and other quaint little ways—comes to life in a colorful panorama of shops, sidewalk folk, nature birds, and little dogs. Tom’s Bicycle outpost is located adjacent to River Parks, allowing velocipedalists to take to the park’s paved trails or wheelie over to the deceptively inedible Turkey Mountain. A helmet is included with the rental, ensuring that the vast collection of Oscar Wilde quips you have stored in your brain are well-protected.
The building that houses the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum doesn't just contain historical artifacts—it's a piece of history itself. Built in 1919 by Sam and Julie Travis during the prosperous years of Tulsa's second oil boom, the mansion sits on 28,000 square feet of manicured landscape that now houses a Vintage Garden brimming with architectural artifacts and bronze sculptures.
Of course, this is just part of the history museum's draw. In the years since its 1963 founding, the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum has amassed a collection of more than 50,000 photographs, 10,000 books and manuscripts, and 6,000 other objects that bear the essence of Tulsa or Oklahoma history, ranging from furniture and fine art to military uniforms and civilian clothing. Curators pull from this ever-growing collection to create themed exhibitions in the museum's eight separate galleries. Every exhibition changes at least once a year, giving repeat visitors a chance to make new discoveries about subjects such as Tulsa life in the Great Depression, the Tulsa Race Riot, and the history of Tulsa baseball.
Nearly 90 years of history have boogied across the spring-loaded maple dance floor at Cain's Ballroom. Once known as the Carnegie Hall of western swing, the ballroom played a key part in the boot-stomping genre’s history as the one-time home of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who used the neon-lit space to host raucous dances, broadcast a radio show, and do their laundry in the bathroom. Still a landmark of Tulsa’s music scene, the ballroom retains much of its original charm, from the barrel-vaulted ceiling to the oversize portraits of past stars to the fiddle-shaped light fixtures.